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Ronaldo ‘persecuted’ as appeal against ban rejected

Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during the UEFA Super Cup football match against Manchester United on August 8, 2017 © AFP/File / Dimitar DILKOFF

MADRID, Spain, Aug 16 – Cristiano Ronaldo blasted his treatment by the Spanish Football Federation as “persecution” after his appeal against a five-game ban was rejected on Wednesday.

The World Player of the Year will miss the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Barcelona later on Wednesday (kick off 2100GMT) and Madrid’s first four games of the season in La Liga.

“Impossible to be immune to this situation, 5 games!!” Ronaldo posted to his 108 million followers on Instagram.

“It seems to me exaggerated and ridiculous, this is called persecution!

“Thanks to my teammates for the support and the fans!!!”

The Portuguese captain was controversially sent off as Madrid won the first leg of the Super Cup 3-1 on Sunday at the Camp Nou.

Ronaldo had come off the bench to fire Madrid into a 2-1 lead but was booked for removing his shirt in celebration and then saw a second yellow card when referee Ricardo de Burgos Bengoetxea adjudged he had dived trying to win a penalty eight minutes from time.

After being shown the 10th red card of his career, Ronaldo then lightly pushed the referee.

On Monday the Spanish Federation (RFEF) issued Ronaldo with an automatic one-game ban for the red card plus an extra four-match suspension for the push.

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Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has also expressed his anger at what he believes is an excessive punishment.

“When you look at everything that happened, to think Cristiano won’t play five games with us… it is infuriating,” Zidane said on Tuesday.

Ronaldo will be absent when Madrid begin their defence of La Liga on Sunday at Deportivo la Coruna as well as for home games against Valencia and Levante and a trip to Real Sociedad.

Ronaldo will, though, be free to play when Madrid begin their Champions League campaign on September 12 or 13.

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